Remember Charles Bronson in Death Wish? Law Abiding Citizen offers a taste of no-mercy vigilante family-man justice 3.0. Ten years after his wife and daughter were slaughtered in front of him, Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) kidnaps one of the perpetrators, straps him down to a torture table, and saws off his limbs (and other things). Then he sends a video of the atrocity to Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx), the slick, out-for-himself Philadelphia prosecutor who cut too soft a deal with the killer…read more [EW]
When “Law Abiding Citizen” feels comfortable enough to be a blunt object of suspense, it comes together splendidly. Pitting the harsh realities of the modern justice system against the suburban cry for blood from a soccer dad, Kurt Wimmer’s screenplay nurtures a pungent odor of injustice that sets up the plot in an exhilarating manner. Morally frozen lawyers? Tired, careless judges? Wimmer manipulates audience reaction superbly, bringing the story to a wonderful boil as Nick stands firm to his case-winning percentages and Clyde sulks away, beaten down by the system that was supposed to heal his aching heart. Now there’s a proper set-up for a bracing thriller that respects the fine art of revenge…read more [brainorndorf.com]
Everyone must pay, even the innocent. So much for our sympathy for the leading man, who happens to be Gerard Butler in yet another questionable role. Director F. Gary Gray and writer Kurt Wimmer peddle cheap, graphic Z-grade revenge thrills dressed up as Knowing Sociopolitical Commentary—as in, the justice system’s rotten, so let’s blow up, then gut, then roast again the whole sumbitch and start from scratch…read more [The Village Voice]
“Law Abiding Citizen” is told from the perspective of two men: Clyde Shelton, played by Gerard Butler, and attorney Nick Rice, played by Jamie Foxx. Two men enter Clyde’s home and brutally kill his family. (there’s a lot of brutal violence in this film.) Nick Rice makes a deal that lets one of the men go free, while the other goes on death row.
Clyde…does not take this well. For ten years, he appears to stay off the radar. Nobody’s heard from him, and everyone has gone on with their lives. The time comes for the man on death row’s execution. There is a mysterious mishap. Afterwards, Nick begins an investigation that reveals — those men weren’t the only ones who chose the wrong man to mess with…read more [GerardButler.net]
The big problem with the movie isn’t the violence, or the message about coddling criminals, or the two lead actors, although they’ve never been worse. It’s the utter implausibility, from the initial, drug-crazed invasion to the final, heroic walk-away from an exploding building.
“Law Abiding Citizen” is the kind of corrosive entertainment for which the excuse “It’s only a movie” was invented. But in this courtroom, that’s no defense…read more [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
Dumb is not usually a good note on which to begin and end when making a movie about a criminal mastermind. And, as Law Abiding Citizen is not a comedy, it’s safe to assume dumb is not what director F. Gary Gray (Friday, The Italian Job remake) was going for with this fuzzy-morality thriller about a vigilante (Gerard Butler) out to teach some sorta lesson about justice by elaborately wiping out the Philadelphia District Attorney (Jamie Foxx), among many others, after the cartoonish psycho-dirtbag who murdered his wife and child in a home invasion gets freed in a plea bargain…read more [EyeWeekely]
Law Abiding Citizen is best while making you contemplate those questions. When Nick asks, “You think your wife and daughter would feel good about you killing in their name?” Clyde shoots back, “My wife and daughter can’t feel anything: They’re dead.” Tell me that exchange doesn’t make you feel like tuning in to Rush Limbaugh, at least for a little while…read more [Miami Herald]
“Law Abiding Citizen” Video Review [FusedFilm]